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Need to know what happens next having severe Anxiety

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Phoenix24
Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
HI

I posted on few other posts but I can't find a precise answer..

I have multiple issues (hearing/speech impaired, autism and mobility and mental health issues) I've been on DLA/PIP and ESA for many years.

Last week I unexpectedly got a letter for a compliance call but have no working minicom so couldn't phone the textphone line or use the phone.

I emailed an address I found on here..just got automated reply message would be passed on ..explaining that I was unable to answer call and could they send paperwork to my home address instead.

However no-one ever got back to me despite me emailing 2 days before app ...leaving me anxious about whether they got the message in time, whether they tried to phone cos they didn't so suspended my benefit???

I typed a letter out at weekend as I communicate via typing as lose ability to speak when stressed ..and managed to post it to the address on the letter .. the post would have been collected this morning from the postbox up the road.

I don't know what the procedure is though or what to do next and my brain can't switch off..... this has never happened to me before, they have always contacted me by post and given me time to reply.

Do I just wait now and check bank account to see if ESA went in to know whether they suspended it or not?

If it doesn't go in..does that mean my HB would have been stopped too??    and my rent not paid either??


The anxiety is making me feel constantly sick in my stomach, my BP has gone up (have an home BP monitor as was already in pre-hypertension range) so the Tinnitus has spiked and is screeching at me like a fire alarm constantly going off in my head so I can't focus on anything or get to sleep either.  

I can't see how I can have done anything wrong as I've been housebound for years and don't go out socially and don't really have any friends or relationships where someone may have reported me for anything.  I don't see anyone so what would anyone have reported me for??? 


I feel if I knew the procedure they do and in what order it may help me feel less anxious as I can plan for it to deal with it as part of my routine in the next month. 

Does anyone know if they are likely to have received the message from correspondence@DWP.gov email address (as shown on here in another post) in time given that I emailed 2 days before the actual appointment?

I'm trying to guess whether they could have received it but they don't have to answer, but may eventually send me a letter with forms instead as requested??

Or whether its more likely they didn't get it in time and suspended my money there and then?   ..in which case ...is this only ESA they suspend?  ..or all means-tested benefits??

Otherwise its going to result in me completely dissociating and ignoring everything cos I don't know how to cope with it or what to do about it

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
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    This is a PIP compliance interview rather than an ESA one, is that correct? If your PIP is suspended at anytime then it can mean your ESA may also be suspended but only because the system has detected there's been a change. It wouldn't be suspended for any other reason. 

    If your ESA is suspended then it can also affect your housing benefit because DWP often share information with a local Authority. Both benefits won't end completely, just suspended. 

    I'm sorry I can't give any other advice on the compliance interview because I haven't seen many people here have them because as I advised earlier, they are rare. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    It doesn't say on the letter what benefit it is about ...so it could be either?? 

    I get PIP full award and had got it for 10 years first time after being transferred from DLA.. another review is not due for another 4 years.

    I don't know about ESA but I'm in the group for most disabled where I don't have to look for work or anything. I've had that years too my social worker was still working (she since retired years ago shortly after helping me sort my benefits reviews out) and helped me do all the forms for that one...also years ago now though.

    I don't remember the ESA application process at all but have memory problems so have chunks of memory missing from various time periods. 

    I do remember the PIP one (a few years later) and having a man come do an home assessment with a female who typed what he said on a screen for me to read and I replied via my Lightwriter (Text to speech device).


    The address I emailed said they would pass information on..I don't see why the relevant dept couldn't just send a quick email ..'we received your message and will send the forms in the post' or something that's all it would have needed to know they'd got my notification in time!  

    I've seen some people post online that they'd got a call but when they rang back they got told that it wasn't mentioned on the system that they'd been phoned or needed to talk to them....it seems even the people that work there have no idea whats going on either half the time!  ..it's just left me feling really confused and anxious!

  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    Now I'm wondering if my ESA is simply reaching the expiry date as I have no idea how long it was for .... you know how theres an email you can request the PIP forms...is there one to re-apply for ESA? 

    Maybe I just need to redo the forms?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
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    I thought you said it was about your PIP. As it doesn’t say this on your letter then I would say it’s about your ESA. 

    They do sometimes do compliance checks for ESA and often at random too. 

    If you’re in the Support Group then it’s an ongoing award until a new decision says otherwise.

    It’s not a review so you don’t need to fill out the ESA50 forms. Compliance interviews are completely different.

    Im sorry I have no idea what email addresses is best to use but people do say they very often don’t receive a response from emails. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,245 Pioneering
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    ...is there one to re-apply for ESA? 


    Maybe I just need to redo the forms?

    No but that's what they'd like you to do (and could lead to UC)

    It doesn't say on the letter what benefit it is about ...so it could be either?? 

    Wait to see if the payment goes in (2-4am on the day) and wait until you hear from them again. This is not right. They know your circumstances and claims history. 
    How can you do anything with no information? 

    Who is the letter from exactly?


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
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    WhatThe said:


    ...is there one to re-apply for ESA? 


    Maybe I just need to redo the forms?

    No but that's what they'd like you to do (and could lead to UC)



    That's not correct. The only way to claim UC would be if you claimed it yourself. A compliance interview or a review for a work capability assessment are not changes of circumstances that would prompt a move across. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,245 Pioneering
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    What I am saying is correct! They want us to claim UC. One way they achieve this is by telling a claimant their benefit is suspended or stopped.

      
  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    WhatThe said:


    ...is there one to re-apply for ESA? 


    Maybe I just need to redo the forms?

    No but that's what they'd like you to do (and could lead to UC)

    It doesn't say on the letter what benefit it is about ...so it could be either?? 

    Wait to see if the payment goes in (2-4am on the day) and wait until you hear from them again. This is not right. They know your circumstances and claims history. 
    How can you do anything with no information? 

    Who is the letter from exactly?



      well this is the confusing thing, the mail is from the opposite end of the country to me!...when I found my original award letter for ESA I relaised this is not the same address as the one that is actually paying my ESA.

    I have heard of a scam involving these letters where people are just after you ringing a number and giving your bank details cos thats what they ask for on the letters.  And all they seem to be asking for on that letter is details of bank accounts, savings etc.  It actually doesn't mention wanting to know anything about whether my disabilities or condition has changed??? 

    My letter also has no NS number on and is from an office that is not my local one on where mine gets paid from.  They've also only put half my name on on the Dear part. ....usually they address you by your full name given on your award...all the other past letters have for both ESA and PIP and included my NS number.

    Now I'm wondering if I've been lucky enough to escape a scam because I was unable to take the call!! ..so they didn't get any bank details....had my minicom beeen working I'd have had to usetypetalk so I don;t hear any of the call I type my part and read it back so I'd have had no idea if the person on the other end of the line (who the relay operator is giving my information to) was genuine or not???

    However I'm worried because I wrote a letter to that address and gave my NS number on the letter so if it is a scam I've now given them my NS number!! 
  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    WhatThe said:

     They know your circumstances and claims history. 



    That is the other thing and what I said on my letter to them....Do they not check BEFORE sending people threatening letters whether they can actualy answer/speak on the phone!

    Also I know (as since found photocopied versions of my original ESA form) that I gave my landline number with explaination of typetalk (as it was called back then) and how to use it by putting the code in front of my number ....

    However the letter giving the number gave an old mobile number and I know people can get your mobile number as had plenty of those calls from marketing places .... I can't answer but I do look up the number online they are always loads of feedback from other people saying the number is a scam or someone trying to sell insurance or something!

    Unfortunately I was so stressed and the letter triggered a panic attack I had turned my phone off completely around the time they were due to call, so I don't know if they actually did call even if it was genuine (as they could have received the notification in time and not called)

    on the other hadn if it was a scam they probably just moved onto someone else's number if they got no reply to mine and had never actually received the email because it wasn't the DWP who sent it??? ...maybe they are investigating because they didn't actually send the letter???? ...I agree with you it does seem really weird!  things don't add up...


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
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    WhatThe said:

    What I am saying is correct! They want us to claim UC. One way they achieve this is by telling a claimant their benefit is suspended or stopped.

      
    For a lot of ESA claimants, it's actually the opposite, they don't want them to claim it, this is why they've pushed back managed migration until 2028. (unless you claim Tax credits as well) 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
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    Phoenix24 said:
    WhatThe said:


    ...is there one to re-apply for ESA? 


    Maybe I just need to redo the forms?

    No but that's what they'd like you to do (and could lead to UC)

    It doesn't say on the letter what benefit it is about ...so it could be either?? 

    Wait to see if the payment goes in (2-4am on the day) and wait until you hear from them again. This is not right. They know your circumstances and claims history. 
    How can you do anything with no information? 

    Who is the letter from exactly?



      well this is the confusing thing, the mail is from the opposite end of the country to me!...when I found my original award letter for ESA I relaised this is not the same address as the one that is actually paying my ESA.

    I have heard of a scam involving these letters where people are just after you ringing a number and giving your bank details cos thats what they ask for on the letters.  And all they seem to be asking for on that letter is details of bank accounts, savings etc.  It actually doesn't mention wanting to know anything about whether my disabilities or condition has changed??? 

    My letter also has no NS number on and is from an office that is not my local one on where mine gets paid from.  They've also only put half my name on on the Dear part. ....usually they address you by your full name given on your award...all the other past letters have for both ESA and PIP and included my NS number.

    Now I'm wondering if I've been lucky enough to escape a scam because I was unable to take the call!! ..so they didn't get any bank details....had my minicom beeen working I'd have had to usetypetalk so I don;t hear any of the call I type my part and read it back so I'd have had no idea if the person on the other end of the line (who the relay operator is giving my information to) was genuine or not???

    However I'm worried because I wrote a letter to that address and gave my NS number on the letter so if it is a scam I've now given them my NS number!! 
    It's unlikely to be a scam because the letter would have come from the compliance team, not ESA itself. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    so in theory .... if all this stress from been left not knowing triggers a major dissociative episode and I can't cope with dealing witih them....what happens if I can't deal with any letters by the time they do eventually turn up or I just check my bank to find the money did get stopped???

    Am I going to have cope with them turning up on my doorstep randomly demanding to be let in????  cos thats gonna trigger a major autistic meltdown.  I'm gonna be too scared to leave my bedroom or have any lights /heating on so no-one can see anyone is in... 

    legally...in what ways are they allowed to punish/bully me for being unable to hear or speak on a phone??? other than just cutting off all means tested benefits??? 

    my disability hasn't changed and if its purely an income-related check/issue ...then PIP isn't means tested either so that shouldn't end ..even if they suspended the ESA cos they didnt get the message in time??? 

    (though I. have proof I sent the email on 31st Jan 2 days BEFORE interview day and time) ..so not my fault if it wasn't passed onto them in time..  auto reply that came straight back said it would be passed on to relevant dept. 


    I feel I need to be prepared with the worst they can legally do to me (trauma survivor) otherwise I'll just end up shutting down if I can't make a plan on how to deal with whatever comes next.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,985 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 6
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    Contact your local MP. You will need to give your name and address. Tell them exactly what's happened. Explain that you are unable to speak on the phone and DWP know this and they should have made alternative arrangements to contact you. 

    They should be able to contact them on your behalf. This usually gets them shifted. https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord/contact-your-mp/
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,245 Pioneering
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    Also this from GOV.UK - they advise that using an email address to contact DWP may not be safe but that you will be contacted by this method if you do. 
    Complaints procedure is also on GOV.UK


    Email the ministerial correspondence team

    Send your question using the online contact form.

    Write to the ministerial correspondence team

    Do not send benefit applications to this address. They will not be dealt with. Find out how to apply for benefits.

    Ministerial Correspondence Team
    Caxton House
    Tothill Street
    London
    SW1H 9NA



  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,245 Pioneering
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    Phoenix, try not to panic as you've done nothing wrong and your money may be paid in as normal. I don't recommend applying for anything again at this stage.

    What are the postal addresses on your letters, old and new?
    Wolverhampton PO box numbers vary according to benefit types so we may be able to identify which one the new letter relates to. Benefit processing offices and benefit payment offices were always different when I received ESA.

    Are there any codes at the bottom of the letters perhaps a form number and date? Did you keep the envelope as this is often a different address altogether?


    Reassure yourself by emailing HMRC who can tell you whether your NI Class 1 Credits for ESA are still in payment which they should be. You'll need to register a gateway account with them. If NI credits were stopped for any reason they'll tell you on which date but not the reason as they won't know - it's a DWP decision to start or stop payment of credits. 

     
  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
    Options
    WhatThe said:

    Also this from GOV.UK - they advise that using an email address to contact DWP may not be safe but that you will be contacted by this method if you do. 
    Complaints procedure is also on GOV.UK


    Email the ministerial correspondence team

    Send your question using the online contact form.

    Write to the ministerial correspondence team

    Do not send benefit applications to this address. They will not be dealt with. Find out how to apply for benefits.

    Ministerial Correspondence Team
    Caxton House
    Tothill Street
    London
    SW1H 9NA




    I think thats another of the ones I found and emailed on morning of call when I'd still had no confirmation from emailing the correspondence one..

    They (the one above) said they were unable to help
  • Phoenix24
    Phoenix24 Community member Posts: 16 Listener
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    I finally got an email back 5 days later to say they had received the notification in time...could have saved me a whole week of stress and elevated blood pressure by letting me know before but I guess I should be grateful they bothered at all.

    Not sure whats happening next, I'd asked for forms to be sent via post as I have no working minicom. Still have no idea what its about as email didn't say anything other than confirm they had received the notification before the time and hadn't called.

    I guess the snow may delay the post as there's more (snow) to come...didn't see our postman come round at all today at their usual time.
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